It’s nice to hear that the government, particularly the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Science and Technology, are getting serious about biopharming. They have made the right move; it might just be among the most important things that could really make a difference in our sisyphian struggle for progress, respect, and recognition in the global community of nations.
We are not hyping here. No less than Henry Miller, biotechnology expert and a fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Competitive Enterprise Institute would attest to the
Biopharming refers to the use of “gene-splicing” techniques to program common crops plants like rice, corn, and tobacco to synthesize high-value-added pharmaceuticals. Plants are harvested and the drug is then extracted and purified for various applications including vaccines for certain ailments like typhoid fever, rabbies infection, and human immuno deficiency syndrome (HIV) as well as chemicals and lubricants.
In a dialogue with the local media a few months ago, Miller said that the
Recently, the DA has announced the successful production of the “Super Buffalo” through cloning as well as the development of pest-resistant variety of eggplant, better-tasting and faster-growing bangus (milkfish) and tilapia, vitamin enriched rice, and virus-resitant coconut and tomato.
In summary, the
Remember that the
These industries are providing millions of jobs but by themselves they are not yet strong enough to soak up joblessness in the country. Simple: electronics and semiconductors are highly import-dependent; they don’t have significant linkages with the rest of the economy, thus constraining their job-creating capabilities. Also, jobs in the services sector are urban-based and require highy-skilled professional and technical staff, thus limiting the benefits of the sector’s its impressive growth to the professional and the middle classes. This trend suggests that other sectors, specifically the farm sector, should step up and provide more contributions in terms of value added and the creation of jobs. And what better way to achieve this than a more serious drive for excellence and competitiveness in biotechnology, particularly biopharming?
With biopharming, the country could have two birds in one shot. Surely, a vibrant biopharming industry could mean greater involvement of the rural sector while mobilizing the talents of the country’s pool of scientists.
Time is of the essence here. In the last few years, the